What do you want to know about teens and social media?

Danah Boyd asked this very question, last June, and here was my response: 

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I’m interested in knowing more about:

1. Gaming: As it relates to socializing with others vs isolating & playing on their own.

2. Friendship: Actually two things here, first, definitions of online friendship by teens, and second, more about the duration and quality of friendships teens are creating. I know that as an adult I have created some very meaningful online relationships (in my case with other educators) with people I have never met f2f, is this happening with teens as well?

3. Content creation (trends): What are teens creating and sharing online? Here I’m actually interested in the bleeding edge, where are they taking content creation to a new level? How are they ‘mashing’ things up?

4. Learning: How are teens taking learning into their own hands, what are they doing outside of schools to educate themselves and learn new things?

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I’m still interested in these things… who can help me learn more?

2 thoughts on “What do you want to know about teens and social media?

  1. gsellart

    My students always deny being in contact with people they don’t know f2f. They claim it’s not safe, so I tend not to believe them. I suspect they just repeat what everybody says, but do what they want to do. I always make it clear most of my online contacts are people I don’t know f2f.As regards content, I’ve come across some interesting content produced by my students outside school, but not much really. I think social networks play an important part here. Students grant us access to their private lives, and we can get to know them better (sometimes I wouldn’t like to know). I think there’s still a neat line dividing formal and informal learning. Whether this line starts to blur or not, depends not only on us -teachers- but also on students. They might decide they want to keep that division. Aren’t we lucky to be witnessing and at the same time shaping (modestly) these times?

  2. David Truss

    Great observations Gabriela! Yes, these are exciting times when new relationships and connections are being made. The idea that “there’s still a neat line dividing formal and informal learning.” resonates with me. I think there are teens out there that have very specific skills that they are learning, and still more students out there that are producing creative works of art in film, digital photography editing and also creative writing… that they do not even consider ‘learning’. They are just ‘doing it’ because it is enjoyable, and the learning is merely a by-product. Mind you, I don’t think the majority of students are doing this, but those that are probably don’t consider this informal learning… it’s just fun!

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